Employees Describe Slipping Into Homelessness While Working at REI

by Kelsey Hamlin

REI is known as a place of good-heartedness and quality, so it might come as a shock to hear that many of its employees are either on food stamps, working multiple jobs, or both. When it comes down to it, REI may have bucked their principles as a co-op for a large […]

via Employees Describe Slipping Into Homelessness While Working at REI — South Seattle Emerald

One comment

  1. I worked at an REI until recently. In regards to our managers not cutting hours or firing employees for lack of membership sales, that was always technically true. Membership sales were not always why employees were excluded but how managers avoided conflict and disciplined employees they didn’t like (a characteristic much like the Seattle manager mentioned). Going forward our managers were no longer going to mention membership sales as a performance review requirement. However when one of our managers tried to give fair and even hours to all of his staff, he was corrected by the store manager for not giving more hours to employees with better membership sales.

    This is part of a larger issue of retention. In 1997 a coworker said that the average time an employee at Portlands downtown store had been employed was 4.5 years. At my store that number was 6 months. Although Stritzke is willing (as the 15 pages defending his wage attest) to pay himself to acquire and maintain top talent at the executive level. REI shows little interest in doing either with part-time, full-time staff or even department managers.


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